God's Children Now
Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. 1 John 3
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" - Luke 24
This week, the season really began to change, and maybe we sensed that the unfolding new work of the returning sun would be both familiar and never-seen before. We've been through such a time in other years, but there are always surprises. That little whip sapling we stuck in the ground a few years back? Wow; it's a tree, and the space around it is changed by our hand, by water, by sun, and by patience. That mallard in the pond; was he here last year, or is this one an offspring of last summer's visitor?
Luke's Gospel tells this week of the continuing fear, astonishment, and - just maybe - new glimmers of hope of the disciples. Their crucified friend Jesus kept returning to them, appearing mysteriously, first seeming to them as if he were a ghost. But this time, he is suddenly in their midst - and he wants something to eat.
We all know that departed beloveds don't show up as ghosts and ask if they can have some of that broiled fish on our plates. But this transformed man standing before them did just that. Something truly, life-changingly different was afoot here. These people had cast their lot with Jesus, been crushed by his shameful death, and were now beholding an entirely new presence. There is a reason why it take the fifty days of Easter to absorb this astonishing change in the way of the world.
A few years after the events of the first Easter, the epistle writer John writes, "Beloved, we are all God's children now." As if that weren't true before; it's just that now we know it in an entirely new way.
I don't know what happened in that mallard's life over the past year. Is his return to the little pond the same life, or is it a completely new life? I don't really need to know the truth about this. I'm just glad he's back.
And we'll all be glad if you join in worship as one of us at 10 AM on Sunday, to speak, sing, and pray about new life, about ducks, and about what it really means to be a child of God. Even Mister Mallard is part of that/this family.